The Goddess Of Freedom

1898 Words 8 Pages
The works of Phillis Wheatley often displays restrained emotion to her personal situation of enslavement. In her letter To His Excellency, George Washington, Wheatley uses classical Greek mythology such as the muses and aspects of ancient history to create allusions as she goes about her thoughts on slavery. This showcases her intelligence and learning when she calls upon the “Celestial Choir! Enthroned in realms of light, Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write” (Wheatley 362) as a poetical muse, which inspires her to write on the injustices of her society. This is followed by her personification and depiction of the “Goddess of Freedom” that is “divinely fair” as she begins her explanation of “freedom’s cause” to aid in stopping the …show more content…
In Phillis Wheatley’s “black world” there exists a repression and limitation on social activities and a lack of basic human rights and dignity, all of which also pertain to the slavery seen in Mary Wollstonecraft’s “white world” in which women were also repressed and limited to social activities, as well as their lack of human rights and dignity. Their literature effectively connects to the reader’s ability to process and comprehend the emotional and mental tolls each type of slavery entailed through the variety of metaphors, personification, and imagery used in each work. For example, the reference Wheatley makes to an "olive branch" and “laurel” in the poem are both representative of peace, integrity and knowledge. In the following lines, Wheatley uses the literary technique of a metaphor, in which she compares the battling forces of America to the Greek forces of Eolus, King of the Winds: “How pour her armies through a thousand gates: As when Eolus heaven’s fair face deforms, Enwrapped in tempest and a night of storms” (Wheatley 362). This metaphor adds to the tone of the poem and prepares the reader for the poetic language in reference to the military: "first in peace" and “great chief” to refer to Washington as the commander-in-chief of the leading army. By the end of the poem, Wheatley strongly urges George Washington to continue fighting for freedom for the colonists by referencing the goddess of freedom as his guide through this war. Her personifications of freedom and mother earth continue to bring attentiveness to the subjugation and inequality seen Wheatley’s society as she subtly conveys it to the reader: “While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms, She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms. See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan, And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!” (Wheatley 362). Personified freedom feels concerned and distressed, and she

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